Anchorage Assembly Considers First Amendment Rights

The First Amendment is being considered in Anchorage, as their Assembly has indefinitely postponed an ordinance to put limits on public testimony taken at assembly meetings.


The ordinance was brought forward by Chair Ernie Hall. In its original version, it would have let the Assembly Chair determine whether to extend or end testimony. That was revised to make it a majority decision.


In favor of the ordinance are those saying testimony can drag on and delay progress. Those against, like Richard Evans, say…


Evans: “And I see this Assembly, certain members of this Assembly, speaking against the people over and over and again and trying to cut down the voice of the people. I will not be silenced. I will be heard before this Assembly, and I demand my right to speak before this Assembly, because it is the government of this city and government of me, and I will not be silenced. You will take away my right to speak over my cold, buried corpse.”


The debate comes after public testimony was cut off during the March re-write of Anchorage labor laws.


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